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Changes in the operation of reception centres

Publication date 1.2.2024 9.47 | Published in English on 2.2.2024 at 13.29
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service has put out to tender the provision of reception services in a number of areas for the years 2022 and 2023. The tendering process will continue in early 2024.

As a result of the tendering process, the contracts of the reception centres that will cease to operate will be terminated. In addition, the agency will transfer the operation of the directly contracted reception centres to centres that have previously undergone the tendering process. The primary aim of transferring the operations is to minimise changes in the accommodation arrangements for customers and to avoid the need for them to move from one place to another.

“The tendering and transfer process is based on the Act on Public Contracts, which obliges the Finnish Immigration Service to put reception centre activities out to tender. Competitive tendering also supports the creation of a diverse field of suppliers and increases the cost-effectiveness of operations", says Elina Nurmi, Director of the Reception Unit.

Currently, there are 87 reception centres, secondary branches of the centres and private accommodation service points, as well as 24 units for minors in Finland. The reception system has around 33,600 clients, 41% of whom live in private accommodation. The majority of clients are refugees from Ukraine.

The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for the coordination, planning and supervision of the reception system. The Finnish Immigration Service has reception centres in Helsinki, Lappeenranta (Joutseno) and Oulu. Other reception centres are run, for example, by non-profit organisations and companies.

Many of the clients can obtain a municipality of residence

For some reception centre clients, the changes may mean that their reception centre will be closed and they will need to move to another centre.

“Reception centres will make every effort to inform clients well in advance of any changes. With timely information, our aim is to ensure that all clients are well prepared and, if they so wish, are able to apply for a municipality of residence or arrange their own accommodation outside the centre," says Nurmi.

Reception centres are intended for temporary accommodation only. This means that asylum seekers will stay in the reception centre until they become residents of a municipality, once they have received a positive asylum decision. Reception services for those who have received a negative decision will end.

Ukrainians enjoying temporary protection can apply for the right to a municipality of residence and become residents of a municipality after a continuous one-year stay in Finland.

“There are currently around 14,000 Ukrainians under temporary protection registered in reception centres, who could apply for a municipality of residence and, with that, gain access to municipal and welfare services. Municipal residents can decide where they live, and are entitled to the same rights and services as any other resident," says Nurmi.

Reception centres to be closed down

Closing on 30 April 2024

  • Kotokunta Oy, Somero Reception Centre                              
  • Medivida Oy, Outokumpu Reception Centre  
  • SPR Lapland District, Kemijärvi Reception Centre                   
  • SPR Oulu District, Kuusamo Reception Centre                  

 Closing on 31 July 2024

  • Medivida Oy
    • Reception Centre in Uusikaupunki                                                 
    • Salo Reception Centre                                                                   
  • SPR South-East Finland District
    • Imatra Reception Centre                                           
    • Mikkeli Reception Centre                                                               
  • SPR Lapland District, Rovaniemi Reception Centre                                                
  • SPR Oulu District, Raahe Reception Centre                                                            
  • SPR Savo-Karelia District, Joensuu Reception Centre
  • SPR Ostrobothnia District, Kristiinankaupunki Reception Centre         
  • SPR Western Finland District, Kokkola Reception Centre                                                             

Reception centre operations to be transferred to a centre that has previously undergone competitive tendering

Reception centre activities transferred on 30 April 2024

  • Babando Oy, Kirkkonummi Reception Centre  
  • Hemcare Oy
    • Loviisa Reception Centre
    • Laukaa Reception Centre
    • Porvoo Reception Centre
    • Äänekoski Reception Centre
  • Kotokunta Oy
    • Hyvinkää Reception Centre
    • Järvenpää Reception Centre
    • Mäntsälä Reception Centre
    • Nurmijärvi Reception Centre
    • Riihimäki Reception Centre
    • Tuusula Reception Centre                     
  • Kuopio Setlementti, Kuopio Reception Centre
  • Medivida Oy, Kankaanpää Reception Centre
  • Pihlajalinna Terveys Oy, Karku Reception Centre
  • SPR Häme District, Mänttä-Vilppula Reception Centre
  • SPR South-East Finland District
    • Pieksämäki Reception Centre
    • Savonlinna Reception Centre
    • Kouvola Reception Centre
  • SPR Lapland District, Kemi Reception Centre
  • SPR Western Finland District
    • Jämsä Reception Centre
    • Saarijärvi Reception Centre

Reception centre activities transferred on 31 July 2024

  • Hemcare Oy, Mäkikylä Reception Centre
  • SPR Häme district
    • Hämeenlinna Reception Centre
    • Lahti Reception Centre
    • Tampere Private Accommodation Unit
  • SPR Western Finland District, Jyväskylä Reception Centre
  • City of Tampere, Tampere Reception Centre
  • City of Vaasa, Vaasa Reception Centre

Further information to the media: